How to dance jazz funk

What Is Jazz Funk Dance? – CLI Studios

August 25, 2021 March 21, 2022 / 4 minutes of reading

A current industry favorite, jazz funk has quickly become one of the most popular dance styles. But what exactly is this style, and where did it come from? Here we’ll explore the meaning of jazz funk and its relation to other forms of dance.

Influenced by Hip-Hop Dance

Jazz funk can best be understood as a cultivated form developed in studios as a response to the organic popularity of hip-hop dance and music. As hip-hop gained popularity, its moves and beats started to distance themselves from their spontaneous origins in New York City street styles as it gained further access into music clubs and commercial television. A great demand was created for more codified and precise moves which would be used by producers and choreographers in the emerging commercial dance market around street styles. Sometimes called “street jazz,” jazz funk is defined by its distinctness from hip-hop dance in the minds of the genre’s purists, while carving out a massive niche for itself in the music videos and stage productions of the 1980s.

Bigger and Broader

Jazz funk is not an offshoot of either the jazz or funk musical genres. It came into being as an art form when choreographers saw the movements from the new world of hip-hop and merged them with elements of style from the world of dance at large. These contributions came from tap, ballet, jazz and swing dancing, and the posing theatrics of the Los Angeles LGBT street dance called waacking. Because of its associations with street style dance and hip-hop, jazz dance is sometimes mistaken for hip-hop dance. But it’s a much different creature, one whose hybrids and mutations were designed with big commercial productions in mind. Think of the difference between swing dancing in a club versus a full cast musical with sets and costumes. That’s the evolution of jazz funk. The best way to understand jazz funk is to visualize a broader more commercialized form of hip-hop dance that freely borrows from many different styles of large dance production.

From MTV to the Classroom

Seen everywhere there’s an urban influence on a big budget pop setting, jazz funk has a natural appeal to “diva” sensibilities. Music videos by Paula Abdul, Janet Jackson, Beyoncé, and Gwen Stefani have all featured jazz funk dance choreography. In a sense, it’s a more precise and scripted form of dance than hip-hop, with isolations, body rolls, swoops, and tight footwork dominating its choreography. And similar to ballet, there can be background dancers who draw the eye to the main stars in the center of the action. There are also studios and classes which specialize in jazz funk dance moves, exercises and stretches, and choreography and production. Freestyle does exist in jazz dance, particularly in studio and exercise classes, but it isn’t strictly fundamental to the genre. A great example of jazz funk dance in a prominent commercial setting would be the Fly Girls from the early ‘90s television show In Living Color.

YouTube and Beyond

Because it is so ubiquitous in big pop productions, jazz funk enjoys popularity among amateurs and YouTubers who seek to copy and build upon the moves they enjoyed watching in their formative years. Its evolution continues into the 21st century, where it retains a massive hold in fashion and pop productions worldwide. Jazz funk is a lyrical style of dance, perfect for storytelling and projecting emotional depth. It’s exciting and suggestive but without the kind of vulgarity that would undermine its mainstream appeal. It is designed to have broad appeal while still having a kind of magic and thrill in its execution.

Jazz Funk on CLI Studios

Find your rhythm and power with beginner through advanced jazz funk classes taught by choreographers like Brian Friedman, Bobby Newberry, Blake McGrath, Nika Kljun, and more! Start to explore this style’s mix of jazz technique, contemporary influences, and hip-hop grooves in beginner through advanced classes that will help you level up your dancing. You can get started with a 7-day free trial when you head to

Differences Between Jazz And Jazz Funk Dance You Need To Know

Differences Between Jazz And Jazz Funk Dance You Need To Know

Jazz and Jazz Funk dance styles have been around for a while. People from across the world are widely engaged in learning these Caribbean-inspired dance forms. Both of the dance forms are similar sounding; however, differ greatly when it comes to the actual dance performance.

If you are a non-dancer or are not familiar with the styles of dancing then it is not strange that you would be unaware of the differences between the two dance forms. Well, at the end of this article, you will be able to present some basic differences between the two forms; just enough to jump into a conversation about either of the dance forms. Let's get started.

To be able to understand the differences between Jazz Funk Dance and Jazz, it is very important to adhere to the basic terminologies.

What is Jazz? Jazz is an Afro-American form of dancing, which involves usage of smooth dance movements and postures to the beats. It can be considered as the super-set of Jazz-Funk and Lyrical Jazz, Broadway Jazz to name a few. The Jazz form of dancing revolves around Ballet scenario.

In a Jazz act, you will be able to notice the frequent usage of pointed gestures and erect postures, which are its essence. Pirouettes and Grandejetes are also a common sight among the watchers. The Jazz form of style emphasizes the performer on being energetic and presentable (posture and costume).

What is Jazz Funk? Jazz funk dance, a super-set of the Jazz form of dancing is influenced by the Hip Hop dance style. Much like the Hip Hop, Jazz Funk has been often fast-paced pointed gestures and quick movements. Most of the performances you will see will be emphasizing on feminism and intricate movements.

The Jazz Funk form of dancing is considered as a commercial dance style, i.e. presentable to masses more often than other forms of Jazz Dance. Somewhat, the illusion is created in the minds of the viewers using the fast speed movements. The Jazz Funk does not make that much of the use of Pirouettes and Arabesques.

In the Urban culture, Jazz Funk is differentiated from Hip Hop. Still, is considered to be one of the most influential ways to express yourself.

Basis of the difference - Following are the differences between the dance forms along with the backup statements:

  • Level of Competition in the Dance Form: These days,Jazz Funk dance forms are in style. However, the numbers of dances engaged in this, are comparatively less when compared to Jazz. Hence, the level of competition is very less in the Jazz Funk form. Some credits are also due to Hip Hop because most of the audience opt for Hip Hop rather than Jazz Funk on the account of similarities between the two. On the other hand, Jazz is a very competitive form and various competitions are also arranged in the same form.
  • Learning Classes: Most of the dance classes around the world offer both Jazz Funk and Jazz dance programs, but Jazz is the most widely offered one. Jazz Funk is missing in some parts of the world and could be completed at The Dance Worx.

Is it possible to learn how to dance jazz-funk on your own?

Jazz funk refers to dances that belong to clubs and are particularly incendiary. On the dance floor, jazz-funk gives the dancer the opportunity to express all their emotions, energy and give all their best. This dance style is suitable for all dance lovers: stylish guys and graceful girls.

This dance style was created using elements of jazz, hip-hop, waking, locking, etc. It is a diverse style, in which impulsive dance movements are smoothly replaced by plastic ones, and swift ones are slowed down.

Lack of practical experience makes learning any dance difficult. Jazz-funk, as an ambitious style, is no exception, and therefore there are certain difficulties. The best way to learn jazz-funk technique is to get the help of a professional, who is not a problem to find, given his popularity among dance lovers. A good choreographer, with his professional advice, will greatly facilitate the development of dance technique, speed it up and make the learning process more enjoyable for the student.

The process of learning jazz-funk depends on lack of time or other reasons that prevent attendance. There is no need to get upset because of such a combination of circumstances. If there is a great desire to learn how to dance jazz-funk, then it is quite possible to do it yourself.

If you don’t have dance practice behind you, then you have the opportunity to learn how to dance jazz funk in Lviv, many different dance studios spread this style, the dance school in Lviv One Life also conducts jazz funk lessons, and if you hurry, then You can also join the beginner group.

Nowadays, the Internet offers a lot of videos to users. Video lessons can be purchased on DVD. Those who wish should only know that proven materials should be chosen so that money is not thrown away in vain.

To master this style, a dancer needs to be in good physical shape and appropriate choreographic training. The lack of such skills makes the desire to learn how to dance jazz-funk on your own more difficult.

First of all, it will take much longer to master the dance style. Two or three lessons, or a superficial study of video materials, is not enough to reach the level of a professional dancer.

Next is another difficulty, which is that a beginner dancer is more difficult to grasp the style. In addition to the movements used, he is required to maintain proper posture, the exact location of the limbs, as well as sparks in the eyes.

The difficulty that arises when you want to learn to dance jazz-funk on your own is an individual look at dances. Any dancer has certain mistakes that are noticed only by an outsider's eye.

A positive aspect of learning jazz-funk technique with a personal teacher is the shortcomings noticed in time and expert advice on how to correct them. When dance styles are studied with the help of video lessons, there will be no help in correcting shortcomings and errors.

Learning how to dance jazz-funk on your own using video material acquired can be easier for a person who has a fire of passionate desire burning inside. In this situation, any activity will bring sincere pleasure, tangible benefits, and the student will feel much more confident, having a great mood, and also an excellent shape.

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Jazz-funk dance (Todes school)

Jazz-funk dance style

Jazz-funk dance is a unique fusion of beautiful elements from other dance styles, which, at first glance, may not fit together. This is exactly what makes him so free, independent and popular. It has a large number of wave-like movements. Jazz-funk dance has no restrictions and rules, this makes it possible to express what is needed in it. This is a dance of contrasts, where sharp, daring movements are suddenly replaced by gentle and smooth ones, absorbing the interest of the public.

The history of jazz funk

It originated in America at the beginning of the 21st century and in this short period of time has become a fundamental dance in the world of show business. Its founders are 3 choreographers - Bobby Newberry, Brian Friedman and Kevin Meyer, who showed the whole world how attractive and harmonious hip-hop movements can look if you add a soft manner of performance, plasticity and dynamism to them.

The main features of the jazz-funk style

This is the creativity and showiness shown in the performance. Despite the fact that Jazz-Funk dance has embodied the techniques of various dance styles of the current version, this style has its own face. Distinct sharp movements smoothly turn into soft and measured ones. Each choreographer puts his inimitable personality, character and emotions into this style.

Many American pop stars - Beyoncé, Britney Spears, and others - danced in the jazz-funk style. In the outrageous appearances of Lady Gaga on stage with a team of dancers, elements of jazz-funk can be easily recognized.

Jazz-funk: why such popularity?

The popularity of jazz funk is due to the fact that he borrowed the best manners from each dance style. The ability to compose and express your own emotions on the go makes the dance very energetic, lively, expressive, dynamic, often exciting fantasies. The dancer gets the opportunity to express himself through the body.

One of the inherent hallmarks of this modern dance is impetuosity. The impulse is created in the upper part of the dancer's torso and passes to other parts of the body. The body makes an active movement to the side or forward. Such unexpected vigor of plasticity invariably attracts the interest of the public. Another characteristic of jazz-funk is movement with a transition from bold broken lines to smooth and gentle ones. Such a manner of movement represents coherence and harmony.

In the Jazz-Funk style, it is quite difficult to make out individual details, this dance style obeys only the rhythm, it lives while the music is playing. Jazz funk is a great means of self-expression outside of limited social and any other conventions.

Music for jazz-funk choreography

When choosing music for the practice of this dance direction, it makes sense to concentrate on the tracks of such popular artists as Lady Gaga, Madonna, Rihanna, Beyonce, Britney Spears, Ariana Grande, Shakira and others. Some young choreographers and dancers who put on Jazz-Funk numbers and post their videos online most often choose songs from the works of these artists themselves for their performances.

Would jazz funk suit you?

Jazz-Funk is a great opportunity for self-expression outside of social norms and rules.

This style of movement is not easy to do - it requires good physical shape, preparation, stamina and some acrobatic skills. For this reason, the emotional dance is suitable for everyone who has these abilities, and in addition wants to throw out the accumulated energy, develop courage and become more self-confident.

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